n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - What is community oriented policing?

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



While scrutinizing the literature and interviewing civilians and police officials, it became clear that a number of popular misconceptions exist about community policing. Change is never easy and some people are threatened by change because the known parameters are threatened by new, unknown parameters. The tendency therefore developed to overreact to something new, which is perceived to be a threat to the known. Unsubstantiated criticism is sometimes used in an effort to illustrate the unfeasibility of the intended change.

These misconceptions are discussed and deconstructed in this article. The author regards this exercise as essential in order to obtain a clear picture of what community policing entails. After analysing these misconceptions, the author adopts Trojanowitcz's definition of community policing and concludes that community policing entails community collaboration and the formation of partnerships. It also offers a practical approach to solving community problems and render police services at grassroots level. Community policing seeks the input and talents of all members of the community in the effort to safeguard our neighbourhoods. It is advocated by leaders at the highest levels of government. It has even been suggested that community policing can play a primary role in directing the way government services are provided at the community level.

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